Rick Parfitt Jnr makes blistering British GT start


Defending British GT GT4 Champion Rick Parfitt Jnr started his title defence in the best possible way by storming the field at Oulton Park.

Sharing his Ginetta G55 GT4 with new team mate Tom Oliphant, Parfitt set an absolute barn stormer of a lap in Qualifying One to start race one on the front row. Oliphant also rose to the challenge in Qualifying Two to start the second race in sixth place.

Unfortunately lady luck wasn’t shining down on Parfitt in race one – who started the car – as a fuel pump issue cut short what was shaping up to be an intriguing battle with Ross Wylie, who started on pole in the Aston Martin. Ultimately the issue was severe enough that the Ginetta was pulled off at Clay Hill and retired.

Race two had a similar feel, Oliphant started well and made up a number of places in his stint but hitting the barriers at Old Hall whilst trying to overtake third in class meant the car retired again.

Parfitt said of the underwhelming weekend: “The first race went really well up to a point, it was an absolute text book plan, I sat behind the Aston waiting for him to use his tyres. Ross is a great driver and he was defending very very cleverly and around Oulton there aren’t very many places to pass so he knew where to put the car.

“It was the end of the stint and his tyres were starting to go off which is exactly what I wanted to play into my hands. I tried to force him to make a mistake as I clearly had the pace and I was getting closer and closer. Unfortunately as I was just about to challenge for the lead the fuel pump failed, the car stopped and I had to retire it from the race.

“Second race Tom made a cracking start but I think he had problems with the handling of the car and he was struggling. Nonetheless he made it up to fourth and was reeling in third, I think he had a big moment at turn one and unfortunately put it in the barrier. It’s disappointing to come away with no points but we will be back and the good thing to take from it is that we absolutely have winning pace and now we just need to make no mistakes.”